Statue of Herakles

Imperial Period, probably Hadrianic
A.D. 117–138

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Rome

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 139; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 110-111 (additional published references).


Height: 57 cm (22 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble from Göktepe , Turkey (near Aphrodisias)

On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)


The Ancient World



Herakles rests his right hand on one end of his club, the other end of which is supported on a small elevation beside his foot. The lion’s skin hangs over the extended left arm, and the left hand evidently held a bow. The hero’s great strength is suggested by the massive neck and swelling shoulder muscles. Hair and beard are carved in short, thick curls, and the ears show the swollen cartilage characteristic of boxer’s ears.
The missing parts comprise the tip of the nose, the left forearm and hand (which were at some time refastened), and a corner of the plinth. When found, the whole surface was covered with a hard incrustation, which has been removed with care from the front by means of acid.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8463 (core/fresh marble): Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.2 / delta18O -2.8,
University of South Florida Lab No. 8858 (weathered surface): Isotopic ratios - delta 13C -2.1/ delta 18O - 3.6

Attribution - Göktepe 3-4, Turkey (near Aphrodisias). Justification - C and O isotopes (core/fresh marble), fine grain, pure white


By date unknown: said to have been found in Rome, between the Aventine and the Tiber; by 1898: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Purchased by Mr. Warren from Signor Marotti in 1898.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, August 6, 1914, for $ 12,187.35

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912